Announcing the new CENTRO Press & Our First Book

New York City, NY (May 14, 2024) – The Center for Puerto Rican Studies (CENTRO) at Hunter College has announced the relaunch of its Press and will be publishing the first English translation of the Afro-Puerto-Rican poet Ángela María Dávila Malavé’s collection, animal fiero y tierno / fierce and tender animal, translated by Roque Raquel Salas Rivera. Intrinsic to the CENTRO Press are five new collections, which expand CENTRO’s scope on academic publishing to works of literature, translation, art, and more.

This will include five collections that will specialize in publishing specific works in their respective areas, such as:

  • Puerto Rican Literature In Translation will publish important 20th and 21st-century works of Puerto Rican poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction that have not been previously translated into English or Spanish. 
  • The Diasporican Archives Chapbook Series is a collaboration with Lost and Found: The CUNY Poetics Initiative and will publish materials from CENTRO’s Archival collections highlighting Diasporican literature. Archival research for this collection will be done by our yearly Diasporican Archives Summer Fellows.
  • Puerto Rican Arts will publish books on Puerto Rican visual arts, photography, and architecture by artists both in the Diaspora and the archipelago.
  • Puerto Rican Studies will continue the Press’ original mission of publishing theoretical and scholarly monographs and collected volumes on topics related to Puerto Rican communities, both in the archipelago and in the Diaspora across the globe.
  • Diasporican Library will publish literature of multiple genres by Puerto Rican authors in the Diaspora in the United States.

Starting today, CENTRO is accepting pre-orders at their online store, La Bodega, for the first book from the Puerto Rican Literature in Translation collection: animal fiero y tierno/fierce and tender animal by Ángela María Dávila Malavé, translated by Poet Laureate of Philadelphia Roque Raquel Salas Rivera. The book will be officially published in Fall 2024 and can be pre-ordered now.

Animal fiero y tierno, by the Puerto Rican poet Ángela María Dávila Malavé, is a powerful lyric collection, where the “I”, as it remains deeply intimate, becomes a collectivity, a relation of multiple solitudes. The voice, the hands, the belly, and the pinkie finger, are also a dove and a lizard, a blue sun, a globe of earth, animal, and light. Originally published in 1977 (Editorial QueAce, Puerto Rico), it has never been translated into English until now. Roque Raquel Salas Rivera’s translation retains the force of Ángela’s involving rhythm, the delicate combination of the expressive and the colloquial in the language, and makes it resound, fierce, and tender, in new Anglophone ears. CENTRO Press is overjoyed and honored to launch its new collection, Puerto Rican Literature in Translation, with this remarkable work of poetry and translation.